There have been three iterations of Alan Wake, even though there’s only been one canonical game. There’s the original Alan Wake, the downloadable content, and the downloadable Alan Wake’s American Nightmare (which is probably canonical, but we can’t be sure until a sequel comes out and confirms it since there’s a frame story that could render everything moot). Over these three games, Alan Wake has evolved in an appropriate way, acknowledging his faults and growing as a character, but what’s more interesting is how the mechanics have evolved with him.
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The Demon’s Souls multiplayer servers are going offline at the end of the month. Soon, the game’s unique online components (asynchronous messaging, death replays, and a mixture of competitive and cooperative multiplayer features) will disappear, leaving behind a game best known for its obscure systems and punishing difficulty. When I heard about this in April, I took it as a sign to finally embark upon my long delayed playthrough. One of the game’s major draws was its online component, so I thought that I would burn through the game and have the complete experience.
A month and half and countless deaths later, it is becoming increasingly clear that I’m not going to beat Demon’s Souls before June 1st. Even after all the hype, I underestimated how difficult and deliberately paced the game would be. I’m just glad that I’m getting a sense of the game’s full potential, as some of the most memorable moments so far have involved the online components. It’s hard to preserve a virtual world. After all, videos, walkthroughs, and written accounts can only convey so much. Still, I figure that the best way to remember Demon’s Souls multiplayer is to make sure it lives on in other media. Here are a few of my travel logs:
The title of my article is a bit unfair because in truth No One Lives Forever is so much more than just Doom with a female protagonist.
Arriving two years after the original Half-Life, No One Lives Forever shared with that much celebrated game a more careful attention to environmental detail as well as a sense that the FPS could be so much more than a genre about a roving gun hunting monsters or hunting Nazis or hunting monstrous Nazis.
Recently, a fan of the Uncharted games edited together cut scenes and bits of gameplay to create a feature length movie of each game. Personally, this is something that I’ve always wanted to see since just watching the cut scenes in order didn’t present a coherent story.
Watching the three movies, I was surprised by my reaction to the third one. I think that Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is the best game in the series with the best character arcs, the best writing, and the best plot. Yet, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception was the most enjoyable movie of the three. Strangely, I found it more enjoyable for the one thing that’s always better in games than in movies: its combat.
With Star Wars: The Old Republic’s subscription numbers down by roughly 400,000 and the response to Zenimax’s Elder Scrolls Online announcement tepid at best, it seems that MMOs have lost the power to grab and hold our attention. Even Blizzard’s Mists of Panderia expansion seems unlikely to draw back the millions of ex-World of Warcraft players finally liberated from their addiction. Yes, Bioware, Blizzard, and numerous other MMO publishers still turn a profit, but the allure of MMOs has faded dramatically since WoW peaked at over 12 million subscribers. Nevertheless, plenty of studios continue to wade into the genre, realizing that even minor innovations in the tired MMO formula can spark success.